They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, I know, I’m a bit rough to look at. Perhaps that’s why I like the well-worn aesthetic of this 1967 145.012. I also find myself highly drawn to the reference, patination aside. This is what a watch guy thinks of when someone says the proverbial word Speedmaster. This was the first ‘professional’ (colloquially Moonwatch) case, the reference that was first worn on the moon, and the among the last of the original calibre 321-powered references. Tool watches are meant to be used. This one was. In context, I think that makes it even more beautiful.
Not only was this thee reference to offer that iconic steel 42mm case with twisted lyre lugs, it was the first model to include Omega’s now famed teardrop seconds hand. That hand would change shape after this reference and take some time to return to this design. The Lemania 2310-based calibre 321 needs no introduction. It has been dressed up, dressed down, taken to every corner of the Earth, and (in this example) taken to space. It has been so long associated with spaceflight that Bezos even wore a customized nod to the model’s history in his recent endeavor. Nothing more needs to be said about the 145.012. It has garnered respect from all corners of watchmaking. However, for a collector, the real challenge is in finding the correct example to acquire. Let’s look further into this one.
Importantly, everything I can see is correct here. The case, its pushers, the crown, handset, and dial all are on point for a 1967 production. The bezel is a DoN (dot-over-ninety), rare and correct, with a lovely genuine-feeling ghosted grey. Some bezels have turned faded-blueberry from the sun, others from bleach. Distinguishing the two is a job for someone with a loupe and physical watch. Its handset has seen the same sun that bezel is likely to have. The lume has fallen through and produced a skeleton handset. As long as the watch has been serviced, it should be fine. I for one love the look of a well-lived-in item, and this Speedy has it. It comes as a naked watch, recently serviced from a respectable retailer.
Find this 145.012-67 here from Wixon Vintage for 9000 USD.